The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 has long been one of my go-to gaming laptop recommendations. Through several generations, few rivals could match its blend of potent performance and portable dimensions. But for 2024, it could be the laptop I point everyone towards – not just gamers.
This 14-inch ultraportable retains the dedicated GPU for smooth frame rates in the newest games, but has switched from polycarbonate plastic to a metal unibody, with more mature appearance that won’t seem out of place at the workplace. It’s thinner than ever and introduces OLED display technology to the ROG series for the first time.
After getting hands-on with it ahead of the formal unveiling at this year’s CES, I believe this might be a viable Windows-powered rival to the MacBook Pro 14″. If size is important to you, there’s also a more powerful 16-inch model.
Design & Build:
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2024) is a remarkably thin notebook. At 14.9mm, it’s about half the thickness of last year’s G14 and thinner than a 14-inch MacBook Pro. That’s due in part to the use of a reassuringly strong CNC aluminium chassis, which also helps to keep weight to a minimum and makes the whole thing seem deliciously high-end.
Asus would sell you one in Platinum White, but I believe the Eclipse Grey is the winner; it looks professional, even with the customizable LED’slash’ logo on the lid, and will (hopefully) be less prone to Cheeto dust fingerprints. Those illuminations are also far more subtle than the AniMe matrix display featured on the previous year’s model.
For such a little laptop, there are plenty of connectors, including two USB-Cs, two USB-As, an HDMI 2.1 display output, and a 3.5mm headphone input. The sole concession is the microSD card reader; the larger Zephyrus G16 has a full-size SD card reader instead.
You don’t have to give up a USB port for charging, either; Asus has a new, reversible thin power jack that is also more efficient and creates less heat than USB at the wattages required to keep Nvidia’s latest mobile GPUs running at peak performance. Expect to see it on a lot more Asus products from now o
Screen & sound:
For years, Asus has been producing amazing OLED panels on their consumer laptops, but the ROG gaming brand has never followed suit. The panels just weren’t compatible with Nvidia’s Optimus graphics switching and couldn’t deliver the high refresh rates that gamers required. Until now, that is.
The Zephyrus G14’s 3K resolution screen is really stunning, with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio that outperforms even the greatest micro-LED screens in terms of deep blacks and dazzling highlights. Asus claims it covers 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, making it ideal for professional graphics work in between gaming sessions. During my trial session, the viewing angles were ideal, the screen bezels were stick-thin, and it appeared to be bright enough for daytime use.
A 240Hz refresh rate sounds incredible to me, but for technical reasons, the ROG team really runs the panel at an astounding 960Hz, with each frame displayed four times. With pixel reaction times of 0.2ms and G-sync compatibility for adaptive refresh, you’d better know that all of the onscreen action I saw was flawlessly fluid. I have yet to compare it to 2023’s finest gaming laptops, but I believe this could be the screen to beat this year.
Keyboard & touchpad:
I’m not surprised Asus didn’t include a numerical keypad in the ROG 14; after all, this laptop is designed for gamers rather than office workers. It’s far preferable to save space by flanking the QWERTY keyboard with a pair of speaker grilles. The key caps themselves have expanded by 12% since last year, which should make typing more comfortable – or at least simpler to identify the WASD keys mid-multiplayer match.
Given how thin the chassis has become, it’s impressive that Asus has managed to equal last year’s effort in terms of key travel. Each one felt satisfyingly crisp, and I typed a few sentences with no typos. Above the function keys are a few handy shortcut keys, the most useful of which allows you to quickly switch between performance levels.
Of course, the entire thing is lighted with colour-changing LEDs that you can control to suit your mood. It looked fantastically bright in the demo room, with each key cap fully lighted and minimal light bleed around the key edges.
Performance & battery life:
This year’s Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is still powered by AMD, but it now features a Ryzen 8000-series CPU. That translates to 8 cores and 16 threads, with a 5-10% performance boost over the previous generation while also being more power efficient. Depending on the configuration, it will come with up to 32GB of RAM and up to 1TB of NVMe storage. I didn’t get to really push the processor’s performance during my demo because AMD hadn’t officially announced it yet, and benchmarks were off limits. Based on the previous model, I expect it to excel at daily jobs while also handling more demanding desktop tasks.
For the time being, battery life is unknown; last year’s G14 could run for nine hours on a single charge under Windows, so I’d expect something similar here.
In any case, the GPU is the most important component of a laptop like this. Asus will fit an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050, 4060, or 4070 into the G14, which is no small feat given its compact size. Each should be able to achieve absolutely passable frame rates in new titles, though the lower-end cards may need to rely on Nvidia’s DLSS upscaling sooner than the 4070. Whatever you choose, it will require a three-fan cooling system and liquid metal thermal paste to keep it under control.
Asus isn’t first with an all-metal gaming ultraportable – Razer did that a few years back – but the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is the first I could see myself ditching my current computer for. It looks the business, is wonderfully compact, and has one of the best screens I’ve seen on a gaming laptop.
It won’t be cheap. But considering an M3 Pro-powered MacBook Pro 14 in starts at over $2000/£2000, I think it actually looks surprisingly good value. You’re getting a thin and light laptop you can take just about anywhere, with enough gaming grunt to play just about any new release, and a battery that should last all day for when it’s time to get work done. The OLED is really the icing on the cake.